SO… SANTACON HAPPENED!

sheep lady photograph

I should have known something was strange when I saw this lady on the N train early Saturday morning… But oh well, I was out and about ready to take some pictures of a new concept I was dreaming up after I had my awesome workshop with Kevin Mullins; more on that later, so let’s continue. I was just getting started, testing exposures and ways I wanted images to look, so I discreetly fired off a couple of zoned focus tests shots. I wasn’t interested in getting a fantastic image of her, but since she was the most interesting character on the train, I thought why not. Who dresses up as a sheep on a train and doesn’t expect to get their picture taken?

It wasn’t until we got off at the 23rd street stop in Manhattan, with about 3 other guys dressed as Santa, did I realize today was the day… SANTACON! A day that strikes fear into the hearts of well-meaning New Yorkers year after year. Ok, it’s not really that bad, but the crowds can be a little rowdy. I mean I did get hit in the face by a female reveler while minding my own business waiting to see play, and she didn’t even say excuse me, but I digress. Here are a few shots I took of the day. Yes, my initial concept got postponed on this day, since there was so much Santa fodder to go around. Oh yeah, it felt pretty good packing my much lighter X-Pro2, especially after finding myself in the press scrum with a bunch of other DSLR users.

I posted this last image to show just how cold it was outside. This poor girl was freezing and had goosebumps all over, but she didn’t seem to mind, and she wasn’t alone. I was totally bundled up, and I was freezing!

As far as the technical stuff for you camera junkies. I shot with the new Fuji XF 23mm f2 lens, and my X-Pro2. I was literally able to get right in front of people to take their pictures without them noticing I was there. Those using the much larger DSLRs had to rely on their zoom lenses to get closer. But as we all know, it’s much better to get into the action with a prime. I shot at around f4 most of the day and at an ISO of about 500.

I may actually add more images to this set after I go through the others. Maybe next year I will remember when Santacon happens so I can avoid the city at all costs! 🙂